ASU Alumni Association hosts class of 1965 Golden Reunion

May 5, 2015/Tempe, Ariz. – Graduates from Arizona State University’s class of 1965 will return to their alma mater for their Golden Reunion on May 11 and 12. The Alumni Association hosts this special two-day event each year, allowing classmates from the university’s 50-year reunion class and their guests to reconnect with each other and ASU, as well as giving them the opportunity to lead the procession during the university’s Spring Commencement.

Many former student leaders and successful graduates from the class are registered for the reunion or have helped plan it by serving on the reunion committee. Several of them recently reflected on their time at ASU and how the university impacted their lives.

Charla Jo Allen Lee ’65 B.A.

Charla Jo Allen Lee used her degree in Spanish and education to catapult her into a 30-year career teaching in three states. Her first teaching assignment was in inner-city Los Angeles, and she went on to teach Spanish, history, and government classes.

Lee was involved heavily in campus activities during her undergraduate days, including participation in the Gammage Hall Council, serving as president of the Church of Christ Youth Group, and acting as treasurer for the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. However, it was her involvement in ASU’s student government that provided her with a path back to interacting with the university as an alumna.

“Due to my involvement as a student council advisor and state director for the Arizona Association of Student Councils, I got to know many students from around the state,” she said. “As a result, I have connections with many who went on to become Leadership Scholarship Program members at ASU.”

Two of Lee’s children attended ASU: Timothy Lee ’93 B.A., who graduated with a degree in political science; and Jayme Lee Feakes ’94 B.A., who obtained her degree in psychology.

Lee says that she looks forward to reconnecting with her fellow students at the Golden Reunion and “being a part of ASU again.”

Art Becker ’65 B.S., ’75 M.S.

Art Becker, who holds degrees in history and physical education from ASU, said that he was most looking forward to seeing old friends at the Golden Reunion.

Becker was on the men’s basketball team from 1960 to 1964, and went on to play professionally for the American Basketball Association from 1967 to 1973. He joined the faculty at Scottsdale Community College in 1974, and held the position of director of athletics there for 28 years. From 2005 to 2011, he served as president of the National Junior College Athletic Association.

Becker notes that he met his wife, Lynn Haines Becker, at ASU in 1962, and the couple has been married for 51 years. Their family includes three ASU grads: daughter Tracy and sons Mark and Brian.

Brenda Shears ’65 B.A.E.

Brenda Shears graduated from ASU with a degree in business education. She was a very busy undergraduate student, taking part in activities ranging from the Homecoming steering committee and the Faculty-Student Relations Committee to Panhellenic Council, the Rally and Traditions committee, and Cultural Affairs committee. She served as treasurer of her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and served on the state convention steering committee for the Association of Women Students.

Her industrious nature continued after graduation. She lived in New York for a quarter-century, working for Booz, Allen & Hamilton management consultants and the Museum of the American Indian. When she returned to Arizona in 1987, she worked as a project manager for the Roosevelt Platform Mound archaeology project. She also worked for ASU as research coordinator at the Center for Environmental Studies and as director of operations for the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability before retiring in 2011.

Currently, Shears is involved with ASU’s Emeritus College, the Dean’s Advisory Council and serves on the city of Tempe’s Historic Preservation Commission.

Shears notes that she’s had a number of nieces and nephews graduate from ASU over the years. Her niece, Jade Lougee, will be graduating in May with her husband, and Shears says, “It will be an honor to participate in graduation ceremonies along with them as a Golden Graduate.”

William “Bill” Hochgraef  ’65 B.S.E., ’68 M.S.E.

William Hochgraef declares that “I am always amazed at the growth ASU has experienced since 1965,” and he should know. One of his achievements as an alumnus was serving as chairman of the ASU Alumni Association board of directors when Old Main was re-dedicated after an extensive renovation campaign in 2000.

As a student, Hochgraef was active in the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi. He continued his affiliation with the university after graduation by serving as president of the Alumni Association’s engineering alumni chapter, as well as the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He has served as a board member for the ASU Foundation For A New American University.

He spent 33 years at Motorola, in positions that included engineering section manager, business area manager, and the asset manager for the Motorola Government Space & Technology Group. He has used his leadership skills as president of the board and CEO of Pinewood Country Club in Munds Park, Ariz.

Sandra Day ’65 B.A., ’73 M.P.A.

When Sandra Day was a student at ASU, she was in the midst of a very busy decade. As a working single mother, she progressed quickly through her studies in political science. After graduation, she obtained her law degree from the University of Arizona in 1967, becoming one of just two women sworn in to the Arizona Bar in May of that year. From there, she worked for the Arizona Legislative Council and the Arizona Industrial Commission in various capacities before opening a private law practice focusing on disability and employment law about 20 years ago.

Over the years, Day has been an ardent advocate for the university programs. She has served on the alumni board for the College of Public Service and Community Solutions, as well as the board of directors for the ASU Alumni Association, where she was chair in 2005-06. She has also served as a volunteer judge for moot court and client counseling competitions at the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.

Day’s attendance at ASU began a family tradition that is now two generations strong. Her daughter and son-in-law Lynda and Jon Yount attended ASU, as did her three grandchildren, Caitlin, Timothy and Daniel.

She noted that she is looking forward to participating in Commencement during the reunion. Day said, “As the youngest of three children, and the first in my family to graduate from college, I came to recognize that (it was the) commitment and financial support of a community that had provided me the opportunity to pursue a number of appealing career options.”

Sun Devils who come back to ASU’s Tempe campus for Golden Reunion have the opportunity to take part in various events over the course of two days. There also will be a special pre-reunion welcome reception on May 10 at The Graduate Hotel.

In addition to participating in the university’s Spring Commencement exercises on the evening of May 11, Golden Reunion attendees can enjoy tours of the Biodesign Institute, the College Avenue Commons building, the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4, the refurbished Manzanita Hall, and the Ed and Nadine Carson Student-Athlete Center. On May 12, a number of alums will be able to attend special Golden Grad breakfasts hosted by their school or college, and there also will be a lunch that day for all Class of 1965 members that will feature legendary former ASU baseball Head Coach Bobby Winkles and ASU Athletic Director and University Vice President Ray Anderson.   

Golden Reunion concludes on May 12 with the Golden Circle Induction, a candlelight ceremony in which class of 1965 graduates will be inducted into the Golden Circle, an honorary group comprised of all classes who have celebrated their 50th reunion. Graduates form a circle around Kachina Fountain in front of Old Main, and each class member lights a candle representing the light of knowledge. Reunion attendees will be joined at this event by members of the class of 2015 who are recipients of the Alumni Association’s Moeur Awards and Outstanding Graduate Awards.

For more information about the class of 1965’s Golden Reunion, visit: http://alumni.asu.edu/goldenreunion.  

About the Arizona State University Alumni Association

Founded in 1894, the ASU Alumni Association connects ASU’s 380,000-plus alumni. Dedicated to serving and uniting all graduates of ASU, the Alumni Association hosts programs and oversees numerous groups that enhance the alumni experience and help alumni engage with their alma mater. For more information, visit alumni.asu.edu.